Thaksin Shinawatra’s 15-year exile ends with instant jail term upon return (video)

Controversial was jailed this morning solely hours after his aeroplane touched the tarmac at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok – ending his 15-year self-imposed exile. The 74 year previous ex PM’s aircraft landed at 9am today and he was instantly escorted to the Supreme Court to acknowledge and start an eight-year prison sentence.
Despite Thaksin’s assertions that his determination to come back was unrelated to the Pheu Thai Party’s quest for power, widespread hypothesis persists that the party brokered agreements with pro-military factions to facilitate the return of the telecommunications magnate.
The Pheu Thai Party is the latest in a series of political entities founded by Thaksin or his associates, a number of of which were ousted from energy via army coups. This history has resulted in years of turmoil and division, pitting a predominantly rural and pro-Thaksin majority within the north towards royalists, the military, and their city supporters.
Upon departing the airport, Thaksin respectfully positioned a floral wreath and prostrated himself before a portrait of Thailand’s king and queen. He exchanged greetings with supporters and the awaiting media exterior the terminal however avoided making any statements.
Hundreds of his followers congregated outdoors the airport properly ahead of his arrival, adorned in pink – a colour lengthy associated with Thaksin – and brandishing signs with welcoming messages. Demonstrating their unwavering loyalty, they celebrated with songs and chants, erupting into exuberant cheers upon his appearance.
In bygone decades, Thaksin championed populist policies, leveraging his telecommunications wealth to establish the Thai Rak Thai celebration, securing his election as prime minister in 2001 and reaching re-election with ease in 2005. However, his tenure was truncated by a military coup in 2006, propelling him into exile a couple of years later. Tried in absentia on corruption expenses he dismissed as politically motivated, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Thaksin’s convoy traversed from the airport to the Supreme Court, the place a special physique liable for felony circumstances involving former officeholders affirmed the sentence. Subsequently, he left the courtroom premises and was transported to Bangkok’s major jail.

Officials at Bangkok Remand Prison disclosed throughout a press briefing that, following a medical assessment, Thaksin’s age and persistent cardiac and pulmonary situations, together with hypertension, had rendered him “vulnerable.” As a model new inmate, he’ll undergo a compulsory 10-day quarantine period. His confinement will occur in the prison’s medical wing, the place he shall be closely monitored due to safety and well being issues.
Less than per week earlier than the May General Election, Thaksin announced his want to return before his birthday in July. However, the plan faced multiple postponements, attributed to both post-election uncertainties and health-related issues.
Despite securing second place within the elections, Pheu Thai assumed management in government formation after the surprise victor, the progressive Move Forward Party, confronted rejection by conservative senators appointed by a prior military administration. Move Forward’s reformist agenda resonated deeply with quite a few Thais, notably younger voters disillusioned by practically a decade of military-backed governance. However, it also posed a menace to the country’s conservative elites.
Following over three months with no new government, the Thai Parliament convened to as soon as once more choose a major minister. Pheu Thai’s nominee, former property developer Srettha Thavisin, was the sole candidate put forth by party chief Chonlanan Srikaew. Pheu Thai spearheaded the bid to ascertain a government by forming an 11-party coalition, even together with two events allied with their former military adversaries, collectively controlling 314 out of 500 seats in the House of Representatives, reported Newsinfo.
Criticism from some of its supporters has been directed at Pheu Thai for reneging on a pre-election vow to refrain from collaborating with pro-military factions. Party officers have defended their decision, citing the need to interrupt the political impasse and foster reconciliation after many years of profound political fragmentation.
Thaksin’s jail sentence could solely be curtailed by a royal pardon. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam from the outgoing military-affiliated authorities indicated that Thaksin might request clemency, which can be influenced by his advanced age.
Napon Jatusripitak, a political science researcher and visiting fellow at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, suggested that Thaksin’s current return signifies that “he has acquired assurances that he is not going to need to serve a prison sentence in full.”

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